New Delhi: The 70th Republic Day parade on Saturday will not be a conventional parade. The nation will not only display its mighty arsenal, but will also showcase ‘nari shakti’, INA veterans, martial tune ‘Shankhnaad’ along with other colourful tableaux. This is bound to fill you with pride for the nation. 

INA soldiers to participate in parade

Image result for INA soldiers to participate in parade republic day 2019

For the first time in 70 years, the Republic Day parade will include a contingent of four veterans of Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA). These veterans in their late 90s — Laltiram (98) from Chandigarh, Parmanand (99), Hira Singh (97) and Bhaagmal (95), all from Gurugram — will parade down in a jeep. This is the first time that INA veterans have been invited to be a part of the Republic Day parade. The four veterans, who fought World War II, will be seated in jeeps that will march past Rajpath during the Republic Day parade. These soldiers, who still consider Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as the tallest leader, said that it seems like they were fulfilling Netaji’s call of ‘Chalo Dilli’. They also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for recognising their contribution to the country.

Women power

The 90-minute parade that will start at 10 AM on January 26 will have an all-women Assam Rifles contingent in the lead and a woman officer performing bike stunts on Rajpath as part of an iconic daredevil team.

The all-women Assam Rifles contingent will create history this year by participating for the first time in a Republic Day parade. Major Khushboo Kanwar (30), mother of a child, will lead a contingent of the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country. While speaking to media, Kanwar said leading an all-women contingent of the Assam Rifles was a matter of great honour and pride for her. "I am the daughter of a bus conductor from Rajasthan; if I can accomplish this, any girl can fulfill her dream," she said.

Captain Shikha Surabhi from the Corps of Signals, will perform bike stunts alongside her teammates. She is the first woman to be part of the daredevils’ segment of the parade. It took a lot of practice to perfect the stunts. She will perform a standing salute on a bike.

No gender bias

Lt Commander Bhavana Kasturi will make history when she leads a contingent of 144 men at the Republic Day parade. She will be the first woman to do so. The 26-year-old Lieutenant Commander endured a lot of physical exertion in the last six months as part of the preparation and daily routine for the Republic Day Parade. “Practising running, sit ups, push ups, chin ups, rope climbing, etc, (along with 144 jawans) was done religiously so that our bodies shaped up well. We also practise drill for the parade. Our moments are monitored and corrected whenever necessary by the instructors. It’s imperative that our timing should be in sync with the team, and the instructors worked hard to help us get the rhythm,” she said.

Leading a male contingent, one of the biggest challenges Bhavana faced was to keep them motivated. The strenuous physical training and matching the exact routine of the male cadets toughened her.

Shankhnaad: A martial tune 

Image result for Shankhnaad: A martial tune republic day

Shankhnaad, a martial tune created for the Indian Armed forces, will be played for the first time. This is the first original martial tune of independent India based on Indian classical music. The composition of the tune is a combination of three ragas ― Raga Bilaskhani Todi, Raga Bhairavi, Raga Kirvani. The tune is composed by Tanuja Nafde, a professor. It was accepted as an official martial tune in December 2017.  It was played by 14 military bands together for the first time during the Army day parade held on January 15, 2019.


Image result for Artillery display in republic day 2019

In another first, the Army will showcase its new artillery guns at the parade 30 years after the induction of Bofors guns. M777 A2 ultralight howitzers, which were inducted into the Army last year from the US, will be seen at the parade for the first time. Another artillery K9 Vajra self-propelled guns, which are being manufactured by L&T under the ‘Make in India’ programme will also be shown at the parade. This will also be the first time when biofuel extracted from Jatropha plant is to be used as a fuel in IAF’s AN32 aircraft which will be taking part in the Republic Day parade.